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Aberdeen - anything good?

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I've found the odd post here, but nothing recent. Have to be in Aberdeen for a few days end of this month - what is there worth eating at? Neither price or type of food are an issue, we just want good food.

And also, surrounding area - even fairly far out: planning to go to Loch Ness area one day, a day in Dufftown (Balvenie distillery tour and, hopefully, some good food), Moray Firth coast (i.e. Banff)...

Is it all really a wasteland or might I be surprised?

Only plan so far is that, as we get in late afternoon on a Sunday, we have reservations to meet friends (also from away, like us there for a conference) at our hotel, the Malmaison Aberdeen...which has a spring special of 2 courses for 2 people + a bottle of wine for only 29 pounds...hopefully it isn't as horrific as I fear it might be.

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  1. The Mal regularly has this offer on around the country, its fine athough I found the portions a bit on the small side. The Mals also often have a 'local' menu which is both interesting and good value.

    My knowledge is very out of date, there is potential for superb quality fish.

    1. Mals are usually OK - a fairly safe bet of unremarkable food- and they almost always have a deal on. As Mr_G indicates, they seem to also run with a locally-sourced menu that might be worth a punt.

      I hate the Manchester one with a vengeance - nothing about the food but the way that they cram you in so close that you feel part of the next table's conversation.

      Mrs Harters raves over the fish she had at a place* in Aberdeen a year or so back. She thought it was brill*. Unfortunately she cannot recall the name with certainty but we think it must be the Silver Darling which is a Good Food Guide, cooking 6.

      John

      * pun intended

      2 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        I can recommend Ciao Napoli, lovely south italian cuisine. Also there is a turkish place called Nargile..not your typical cheap stuff, but excellent quality food. Yatai is where I'd recommend for Sushi.
        Not much else around these parts. Usually head to Glasgow for a decent weekend of luxury gourmet.

        1. re: Soyabean

          Thanks Soyabean. I went to Ciao Napoli and loved i - definitely the food highlight of my 5 days in Aberdeen. Other than that, it was pretty much mediocre pub food.